Your Weekly Mixx! DAF’s Weekly Mixx is a selection of contemporary art and/or art related videos chosen from artist and gallery submissions and from our own search for new and interesting works. This week, we feature the work of Herakut, Christopher David White, Wendy Campbell, John Wilhelm, Francois Nielly, Annalu Boeretto, DZIA, and Julie Veenstra.
Born on December 8, 1922, in Berlin, Germany, Lucian Michael Freud was a British painter and draughtsman and considered to be the leading figurative painter of his time. Freud was the son of the architect Ernst Freud and the grandson of renowned neurologist and psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. His family fled from Nazi Germany to England in 1932, and Freud became a British citizen in 1939. He studied briefly at the Central School of Art in London and then at the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing, Dedham, under the painter Cedric Morris. Apart from spending a year in Paris and Greece, Freud lived and worked in the inner-city area of Paddington, London.
Freud’s early works were created with thin layers of paint depicting people, plants and animals in odd juxtapositions. He was also loosely associated with Neo-Romanticism as evidenced by the intense, bulbous eyes that are characterized in his early portraits.
In 1948, Freud married Kitty Garman, daughter of sculptor Jacob Epstein, with whom he had two daughters. The marriage ended in 1952 and in 1953, he married Caroline Blackwood, whom he divorced in 1959.
From the 1950s, Freud began to work in portraiture, often nudes, using an impasto technique. He began to pull away from Neo-Romanticism and developed his own style with portraits that were “more tactile, demonstrating an almost sculptural fascination with flesh and its contours. Freud abandoned the fine lines of his early work for broader strokes – swapping sable brushes for hogshair – and began to work with a more limited palette in which greasy whites and meaty reds predominated. His subjects were also often foreshortened or seen from a peculiar angle, a change in technique brought on by Freud’s beginning to paint while standing up rather than sitting.” Freud’s paintings are decidedly moody, depicting a “physical ugliness” and a sense of alienation.
Although working mostly with the human form, Freud also painted cityscapes seen from his studio window, as well as highly detailed nature studies.
On the personal side, Freud was known for having bitter feuds, most notably with his close friend Francis Bacon, his patron Lord Glenconner, and his dealer, James Kirkman. He is known to have had at least 13 children and rumoured to have many more. He was an eccentric and refused to have a telephone in his studio, and until the late 1980s he could only be contacted by telegram.
Freud exhibited regularly and had several retrospective exhibitions including at the Hayward Gallery, London, in 1998 and at Tate Britain in 2002, as well as solo exhibitions in New York, Edinburgh, Los Angeles, Venice, Dublin, The Hague and Paris. He was appointed a Companion of Honour in 1983, and a member of the Order of Merit in 1993.
Freud painted into his old age and vowed never to give up working, stating that he intended to “paint himself to death”. He died at his home on July 20, 2011 after a brief illness.
For full biographical information, visit the source links below.
Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marquis of Dalí de Púbol (Salvador Dali) was born on May 11, 1904 in Figueres, Spain near the French border. A painter, draughtsman, illustrator, sculptor, writer and film maker, Dali was one of the most prolific, flamboyant, and well-known artists of the 20th century.
He was a student at the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid but was expelled for encouraging students to rebel and for withdrawing from an exam because he said the teachers were not qualified to judge his work.
Dali gained recognition relatively quickly after just three shows: a solo show in Barcelona in 1925, a showing of his works at the Carnegie International Exhibition in Pittsburgh in 1928, and in 1929, his first solo show in Paris. It was at this time that Dali joined the ranks of the surrealists and met his future wife, Gala Eluard.
“The Persistence of Memory” was painted in 1931 after seeing some Camembert cheese melting in the heat on a hot summer day. Later that night, he dreamt of clocks melting on a landscape. The small work (24 cm x 33 cm) is one of the most famous of the surrealist paintings. During this time, and inspired by Sigmund Freud, Dali used his “paranoiac-critical method” to create his art.
During the 1930s Dalí’s political indifference alienated him from the other Surrealists who were mainly leftist. In 1937, he painted an unusual series of Adolf Hitler that were considered to be in bad taste and partly led to his expulsion from the movement.
Salvador and Gala spent World War II in the United States, where he became a popular figure. He painted portraits, dressed shop windows, created a dream sequence for Alfred Hitchcock’s film “Spellbound” and created a cartoon, “Destino”, with Walt Disney.
Dalí returned to Europe in 1948 and was completely disconnected from Surrealism. He painted mainly in Spain, with an eclectic approach focusing on history, religion, and science. Dalí created over 1,500 paintings in his career as well as illustrations for books, lithographs, designs for theatre sets and costumes, numerous drawings, sculptures, and various other projects.
Dali was greatly affected by the death of his wife Gala in 1982. After that time, he lost much of his passion for life. His health began to fail, and he painted very little. On January 23, 1989, at the age of 84, Salvador Dali died from heart failure with respiratory complications. He is buried in his Theater Museum in Figueres.
For a full biography of Salvador Dali, see the source links below.
Anishinaabe artist Norval Morrisseau (Copper Thunderbird) was born on March 14, 1932 in Fort William, Ontario, Canada. Morrisseau was a painter, carver, draughtsman, storyteller, teacher, Grand Shaman, and was dubbed the “Picasso of the North” by the French press. Morrisseau invented the pictographic style, now used by three generations of Aboriginal artists.
The first of five sons, Morrisseau was, according to Ojibway custom, raised by his grandparents. He learned about Ojibway beliefs and Anishinaabe cosmology from his grandfather who was a member of the Midewiwin religious society. As a child, he also learned about Christianity from his Catholic grandmother. In the 1970s, he became interested in the spiritual philosophy of Eckankar and its theories of astral visions and soul travel. All of these experiences influenced his artistic development.
Self-taught, Morrisseau began drawing the ancient stories of his people at a very young age. He was discouraged by some who believed that the communication of any content from the scrolls was strictly the task of a Shaman. While Morrisseau continued to paint, he studied his Anishinaabe heritage intensively until he himself became a Shaman.
In 1956, Morrisseau contracted tuberculosis and was admitted to the Thunder Bay Tuberculosis Sanatorium where he continued creating artwork. While there, he met Harriet Kakegamic and the couple married in 1957 and had six children.
In 1962, Morrisseau’s work attracted the attention of Toronto gallery owner Jack Pollack who organized a successful solo exhibition of the artist’s work. Over the next decade, Morrisseau developed his unique painting style termed the “Woodlands School” which was known for its vibrant colours, x-ray impressions, and flat forms separated by thick black lines. His art influenced the work on numerous First Nation artists including Daphne Odjig, and Carl Ray.
Morrisseau was also known as Copper Thunderbird, a name he was given as a young man. “In Ojibway culture, the thunderbird acts as a go-between; in combination with “copper,” the name suggests that Morrisseau has the ability to unite opposing powers of underwater/underearth and above sky.” Morrisseau signed all of his works in Cree syllabics as Copper Thunderbird.
“Through the 1970s and ’80s, Morrisseau’s “eccentricities” – binge drinking and often a hand-to-mouth street existence – were the despair of his friends and buyers of his work who were uncertain of the authenticity of his paintings. The artist admitted in 2004 he had signed other artists’ work ‘if they needed the money.'”
The prevalence of forgeries, however, became a great concern to Morrisseau, especially in his later years, and he actively sought to remove these from the marketplace. In 2005 he established the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society (NMHS). The Society’s mandate is to catalogue and verify authentic Morrisseau paintings.
Morrisseau received numerous awards and honours in his lifetime including the Order of Canada in 1978, member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, recipient of Doctor of Laws, and Doctor of Letters, holder of the Eagle Feather (the highest honour awarded by the Assembly of First Nations), and Grand Shaman. As well, he was the only Canadian painter invited to exhibit in the Paris French Revolution bicentennial in 1989.
In the last years of his life, Morrisseau was unable to paint. Afflicted by Parkinson’s disease, Norval Morrisseau died on December 4, 2007 in Toronto General Hospital. He was buried in Northern Ontario next to the grave of his ex-wife Harriet, on Anishinaabe land.
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Born on March 6, 1475, in Caprese, Italy, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was a Renaissance sculptor, painter, draftsman, architect, and poet. Michelangelo was thought of as the greatest living artist in his lifetime, and is considered to be one of the greatest artists of all time.
In 1488, at the age of 13, Michelangelo apprenticed with Domenico Ghirlandaio, Florence’s best fresco painter. Following that, he studied with sculptor Bertoldo di Giovanni in the Medici gardens in Florence. During this time, he was surrounded by prominent people including Lorenzo de’ Medici (known as “Lorenzo the Magnificent”), who introduced him to poets, artists, and scholars in his inner circle.
Early on, Michelangelo strove for artistic perfection in his depictions of the human body. He studied anatomy with great interest and at one point even gained permission from the prior of the church of Santo Spirito to study cadavers in the church’s hospital. It was at this time that Michelangelo began a life-long practice of preparatory drawing and sketching for his works of art and architecture.
After Medici’s death in 1492, Michelangelo left Florence, traveled to Bologna and eventually to Rome, where he continued to sculpt and study classical works. In 1498-99, the French Ambassador in the Holy See commissioned Michelangelo to sculpt the “Pietà” for Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.
In 1501, Michelangelo returned to Florence where he began work on his famous marble statue “David”. This work established Michelangelo’s prominence as a sculptor of incredible technical skill and innovation.
In 1503, Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to create his papal tomb which features the famous statue of Moses. The artist worked on the tomb for 40 years, stopping often to work on other commissions including the painting of more than 300 figures on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel from 1508-12.
From 1534 to 1541, Michelangelo produced an enormous fresco “The Last Judgment” in the Sistine Chapel. “A depiction of the second coming of Christ and the apocalypse, the work was controversial even before its unveiling because of the depictions of nude saints in the papal chapel, which were considered obscene and sacrilegious.”
From about 1516, Michelangelo began to focus his attention more on architecture. In 1534, he designed plans for the Medici Tombs and the Laurentian Library attached to the church of San Lorenzo. In 1536, he designed the Piazza del Campidoglio, and in 1546 he was appointed architect of Saint Peter’s Basilica and designed its dome. From 1561-65, Michelangelo’s final plans were for the Porta Pia, a gate in the Aurelian Walls of Rome.
More than any other artist, “Michelangelo elevated the status of the artist above the level of craftsman. His deeply felt religious convictions were manifested in his art. For him, the body was the soul’s prison. By using movement, monumental forms, and gesture to express spiritual urges, he opened up new artistic vistas in the direction of Mannerism and the Baroque.”
Michelangelo was known to be a complicated man. “Arrogant with others and constantly dissatisfied with himself, he nonetheless authored tender poetry. In spite of his legendary impatience and indifference to food and drink, he committed himself to tasks that required years of sustained attention, creating some of the most beautiful human figures ever imagined.”
“He constantly cried poverty, even declaring to his apprentice Ascanio Condivi: ‘However rich I may have been, I have always lived like a poor man’, yet he amassed a considerable fortune that kept his family comfortable for centuries. And though he enjoyed the reputation of being a solitary genius and continually withdrew himself from the company of others, he also directed dozens of assistants, quarrymen, and stonemasons to carry out his work.”
Michelangelo’s final work in marble, the “Rondanini Pietà,” was left unfinished. He died in Rome on February 18, 1564 at the age of 88.
Born on February 13, 1891, in Anamosa, Iowa, Grant Wood was an American artist best known for his paintings of the rural American Midwest. Wood studied at the State University of Iowa, the Minneapolis School of Design, and the Academie Julian in Paris. Aside from painting, he worked in a variety of media, including lithography, ink, charcoal, ceramics, metal, wood and found objects.
In the 1920s Wood traveled to Europe four times, visiting Paris, Italy, and Germany. He was impressed by the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) movement in Germany as well as the primitive Flemish and German painters. Specifically, he admired their depiction of mythological and biblical stories in contemporary costumes and settings, making them relevant to the viewer. Wood then applied these ideas in his own paintings of ordinary life.
Wood first gained recognition 1930, when his painting “American Gothic” won a medal from the Art Institute of Chicago. The painting received a great deal of public and critical attention and Wood quickly became known across the United States. In 1934 he was hailed by Time Magazine as the “chief philosopher” of Regionalism.
“American Gothic” depicts a farmer and his spinster daughter posing before their house, whose gabled window and tracery, in the American gothic style, inspired the painting’s title. The models were actually Grant’s sister Nan and their dentist. Wood was accused of creating this work as a satire on the intolerance and rigidity that the insular nature of rural life can produce; he denied the accusation. American Gothic is an image that epitomizes the Puritan ethic and virtues that he believed dignified the Midwestern character.”
In 1932, Wood helped found the Stone City Art Colony near Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to help artists get through the Great Depression. He became a great advocate of Regionalism, and gave lectures throughout the United States on this art movement.
Wood taught painting at the University of Iowa’s School of Art from 1934. During that time, he continued to produce his own works as well as supervising mural painting projects, and mentoring students.
Grant Wood died of liver cancer on February 12, 1942 – the day before his 51st birthday.
Born on February 8, 1880 in Munich, Germany, Franz Marc was a principal painter of the German Expressionist movement. The son of a professional landscape painter, Marc chose to become an artist after a year of military service interrupted his plans to study philology. Marc studied at the Kunstakademie in Munich under Gabriel von Hackl and Wilhelm von Diez from 1900-1902. In 1903 and in 1907 he visited Paris where he was introduced to Japanese woodcuts and the work of Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, the Cubists, and the Expressionists. During this period, Marc also made a steady income by giving animal anatomy lessons to art students.
Marc had his first solo show at the Kunsthandlung Brackl, Munich in 1910. He supported the Neue Künstlervereinigung München (Munich New Artist’s Association), and became a member of the group early in 1911. After the split of the NKVM, Marc formed Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), artist circle with August Macke, Wassily Kandinsky, and other artists. The group’s first exhibition was held on December 1911 at Heinrich Thannhauser’s Moderne Galerie in Munich. “Der Blaue Reiter Almanac” was published with lead articles by Marc in May 1912.
Marc’s paintings were concerned with the need for harmony and union with nature. “Believing that animals achieved this harmony more successfully than human beings, he used them for the subject matter of his paintings. Early in his career he painted graceful and lyrical horses, cows, and deer inhabiting beautiful and peaceful landscapes. The scenes were painted with bright pure colors and filled with light.”
Marc was conscripted during World War I and was sent to the front lines. The great loss of life deeply affected him, including the many animals that were killed in the war. One of his best known paintings, Tierschicksale (Fate of the Animals), was completed in 1913 when “the tension of impending cataclysm had pervaded society”. On the back of the canvas, Marc wrote, “Und Alles Sein ist flammend Leid” (“And all being is flaming agony”). Marc wrote to his wife of the painting, it “is like a premonition of this war – horrible and shattering. I can hardly conceive that I painted it.”
Franz Marc was killed on March 14, 1916 at the Battle of Verdun.
Born on January 28, 1912 in Cody, Wyoming, Paul Jackson Pollock was a key figure in the Abstract Expressionist movement. Pollock grew up in Arizona and California and began his painting studies at the Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles in 1928. In 1930, he moved to New York where he studied with Thomas Hart Benton at the Art Students League. During this early time in his studies, Pollock was influenced by the murals of José Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera. From 1935 to 1942, Pollock worked on the WPA Federal Art Project as a mural assistant to David Alfaro Siqueiros, and as an easel painter.
Pollock’s paintings during this time were inspired by Navajo sand painting, Asian calligraphy, and personal revelations stemming from four months of Jungian psychotherapy to treat his alcoholism. “This resulted in an obsessive exploration of his unconscious symbolism, mediated through the stylistic influence of Picasso, Orozco, Joan Miró and the theories of John Graham. The works he created parallel to his psychotherapy contain the elements of what became a personal iconography.”
By 1947, Pollock was creating densely layered compositions that brought both praise and criticism. Some critics viewed them as “meaningless and chaotic”, while others saw them as “superbly organized, visually fascinating and psychologically compelling.”
Pollock’s first solo show was held in 1943 at Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century gallery in New York. Guggenheim gave him a contract that lasted through 1947, allowing him to devote all his time to painting. Prior to 1947 Pollock’s work was influenced by Pablo Picasso and Surrealism, and in the early 1940’s, he participated in several Surrealist and Abstract art exhibitions.
In 1945, Pollock married artist Lee Krasner, who became an important influence on his career and on his legacy. In the fall of that year, the couple moved to what is now known as the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in Long Island, New York.
From 1947 to 1952 Pollock created his most famous “action paintings“. “Pollock’s technique of pouring and dripping paint is thought to be one of the origins of the term action painting. With this technique, Pollock was able to achieve a more immediate means of creating art, the paint now literally flowing from his chosen tool onto the canvas. By defying the convention of painting on an upright surface, he added a new dimension, literally by being able to view and apply paint to his canvases from all directions.” These works were also larger in scale and were given numbers instead of titles.
A profile in the 8 August 1949 issue of Life magazine introduced Pollock’s art to Americans and secured his growing reputation as one of the foremost modern painters of the time. During this intensely creative time, Pollock was treated by a doctor who substituted his drinking with tranquillizers. In 1951, he began drinking heavily again.
In 1952, Pollock’s first solo show in Paris opened at the Studio Paul Facchetti and his first retrospective was organized by Clement Greenberg at Bennington College in Vermont. His work was shown in many group exhibitions, including the Whitney Annuals, the Museum of American Art, New York, from 1946 and the Venice Biennale in 1950. Although his paintings were widely known and exhibited internationally, Pollock never traveled outside the United States.
By 1955, Pollock’s alcoholism and depression had overtaken his life and he stopped painting altogether. He was also becoming increasingly estranged from his wife and in the summer of 1956 she traveled to Europe to re-evaluate their relationship.
On August 11, 1956, Jackson Pollock died in an automobile accident. Driving drunk, he overturned his convertible, killing himself and an acquaintance, and seriously injuring his other passenger. After Pollock’s death, Krasner, managed his estate and ensured that his reputation remained strong. They are buried together at Green River Cemetery in Springs, Long Island.
Born on January 19, 1839 in Aix-en-Provence, France, Paul Cézanne is considered by many to be one of the most important painters of the second half of the 19th century. From 1849 – 1852, he studied at the Ecole Saint-Joseph and from 1852 to 1858 at the Collège Bourbon. In 1857 he attended the Ecole Municipale de Dessin in Aix-en-Provence, where he studied under Joseph Gibert. In 1859, to satisfy his father’s wishes, he began to study law at the Université d’Aix. He also attended the Ecole Municipale de Dessin again from 1858 – 1861. In 1861 Cézanne abandoned his law studies and moved to Paris to pursue his career as a painter.
In 1862 Cézanne met Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir with whom he formed lasting friendships. In 1863, his paintings were shown in the Salon des Refusés, which exhibited works rejected by the Paris Salon. The Salon rejected all of Cézanne’s submissions between 1864 to 1869.
With the onset of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, Cézanne returned to Aix-en-Provence and then L’Estaque, where he continued painting. In the 1870’s he was influenced by, particularly the work of Camille Pissarro. Like the Impressionists, Cézanne considered the study of nature essential to painting, however, he opposed many aspects of the Impressionist aesthetic. “Believing colour and form to be inseparable, he tried to emphasize structure and solidity in his work, features he thought neglected by . For this reason he was a central figure in .” In 1874, he participated in the first Impressionist Exhibition, as well as the third in 1877.
In 1882 the Salon accepted his work for the first and only time. Beginning in 1883 Cézanne lived in the South of France, returning to Paris occasionally. Cézanne’s first solo show was held at Ambroise Vollard’s gallery in Paris in 1895. Following that exhibition, his recognition increased, and in 1899 he participated in the Salon des Indépendants in Paris. In 1900 he participated in the Centennial Exhibition in Paris and, in 1903, the Berlin and Vienna Secessions. In 1904 he exhibited at the Salon d’Automne, Paris and had a solo exhibition at the Galerie Cassirer in Berlin.
Between 1883 and 1895, Cézanne’s paintings accented mass and structure, and his composition therefore became more architectural. His move away fromstemmed from his belief that a painter must interpret as well as record the scene before him. His brushstrokes became broader and thicker, and the use of a palette knife was sometimes evident.
In the final years of Cézanne’s life, many of his landscapes “emphasized the rough appearance of sites, mixing wild vegetation with rocks in unusual, asymmetric framing. His composition became less serene and his colour more violent.” In several works, parts of the canvas were left bare and were painted with highly diluted oils. His fascination with nature continued but “the objective sought is no longer to describe reality but to express a spiritual concept”.
Cézanne rarely dated and often did not sign his paintings making it difficult to determine the chronology of his works with any precision. In his last years his work began to influence many younger artists, including the Fauvists and the Cubists. His influence reached well into the 20th century as well.
Paul Cézanne died of pneumonia on October 22, 1906. He was buried in his hometown of Aix-en-Provence.
For a more detailed biography of Cézanne, visit the MoMA website.
Paul Cézanne on Amazon
Born to a prosperous family on January 14, 1841, in Bourges, Cher, France, Berthe Morisot was a central member of the Paris Impressionists. Morisot, as well as her sisters, were encouraged at an early age to pursue art and studied with neoclassical painter Geoffroy-Alphonse Chocarne. In 1858 she and her sister Edma studied at the studio of Joseph-Benoît Guichard, and through him met the leading landscape painter Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot who encouraged the siblings to paint outdoors.
Morisot exhibited at the Salon from 1864 to 1873. Around 1867, she met Édouard Manet with whom she developed a close friendship. Morisot modeled for Manet numerous times and in 1874 she married his brother, Eugène. That same year she refused to show her work at the Salon and instead participated in the first independent show of Impressionist paintings. In 1878, Morisot had a daughter Julie who became a main source of inspiration for her paintings.
Morisot painted her daily experiences and reflected 19th century cultural expectations of her class and gender. Her works included landscapes, family and domestic life, portraits, garden settings and boating scenes. She avoided urban and street scenes as well as the nude figure. Morisot worked with pastels, watercolors, and oil, and in her later years, she experimented with lithography and drypoint etching.
Morisot became an important member of the Impressionist group. Painters and writers would meet at her home including Renoir, Degas, and Mary Casssatt. Morisot was never commercially successful in her lifetime. At the time however, her paintings sold for slightly higher prices than those of Renoir, Monet, and Sisley.
Berthe Morisot died of pneumonia on March 2, 1895 in Paris at the age of 54. She was interred in the Cimetière de Passy.